MURRAY, Ky. — The 10th annual Patterns of Distinction – Security Matters Conference took place April 26 in the Curris Center at Murray State University. Murray State’s Program of Distinction in telecommunications systems management (TSM) and Community Financial Services Bank (CFSB) co-hosted the conference, which is the largest security conference in the region with more than 200 registered attendees.

At the conference, keynote speakers discussed business identity theft, protection against cybercrime and cyberattacks against small businesses. The speakers included Drew Perry, manager of IT governance, risk and compliance at Valvoline; Zachary Smith, intelligence analyst for the FBI; and Joshua Jacobs, president of Sawyers and Jacobs.

The conference included the 12th annual TSM Awards Luncheon hosted by the Center for TSM and sponsored by DEVsource. During the luncheon, keynote speaker Lana Porter, founder and CEO of L&M Enterprises, shared her story of being a female leader in the world of telecommunications and technology in addition to offering advice for those just starting out in their careers. After her presentation, Porter received the Nathan Stubblefield Distinguished Lecture Award. The award is presented to the speaker in the TSM Distinguished Lecture Series and is named after Stubblefield, the inventor of the wireless telephone and a Murray native.

Four TSM students were also recognized during the luncheon. Dr. Danny Claiborne, chair of Murray State’s Institute of Engineering, presented the Outstanding Senior Award to Saeed Almalki, the Outstanding Online Senior Award to Nicholas Hayden, the Outstanding Graduate Student Award to Sreeharsha Chamala and the Outstanding Online Graduate Student Award to Hunter Evans.

Dr. Michael Ramage, director of the Center for TSM, presented awards to industry professionals, TSM alumni and faculty members who have made an impact in the field of telecommunications. Among the awards was one recognizing women in technology that is named for Murray State alumna Lana Garner Porter. In addition to having an incredible career in technology and serving on several boards and nonprofits, Porter is a Distinguished Alumna of Murray State, member of the TSM National Advisory Board and member of the Leadership Women Board of Directors. The initial winner of the Lana Garner Porter Women in Technology Award was Trisha Cunningham, CEO of the North Texas Food Bank.

Other awards and winners recognized during the luncheon include:

— Dr. Gene Wells Ray Lifetime Achievement Award: Stan Eckenberg, president of Computer Services, Inc.

— Dick Anderson Leadership Award: Andy Adams, IT manager for Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, LLC, and founding chair of the Technology Council of West Kentucky

— John Williams Entrepreneurship Award: Matt Jennings, co-founder and CEO of Kingdom Trust

— Gary Brockway Faculty/Staff Excellence Award: John Young, administrative assistant for the Center for TSM at Murray State

— TSM Distinguished Alumni Award: Doug Cecil, service level manager at Caterpillar, and Drew Perry, manager of IT governance, risk and compliance at Valvoline

— Lana Garner Porter Women in Technology Award: Trisha Cunningham, CEO of the North Texas Food Bank

In addition to the Security Matters Conference, the Center for TSM will host the third annual IT Matters Conference at the Murray State University regional campus in Paducah on Sept. 27, 2018. For more information, visit the Center for TSM website at

The telecommunications systems management program is the award-winning Program of Distinction at Murray State University. The program provides degree tracks in cybersecurity, wireless communications and network and systems administration. Telecommunications systems management is designed to focus on network infrastructure in the rapidly growing technology industry. It is an interdisciplinary program that provides students a solid foundation in information systems technologies and the application of those technologies in a business environment.

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